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Public Health: keeping the mission healthy

Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Sharon Bannister Air Combat Command surgeon general poses with Airmen from the 9th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron’s Public Health flight.

Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Sharon Bannister Air Combat Command surgeon general, second from the left, poses with Airmen from the 9th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron’s Public Health flight on Beale Air Force Base California, March 3, 2020. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Airman Jason W. Cochran)

Beale Air Force Base --

Consisting of approximately 10 total force Airmen, Public Health is a relatively small shop within the 9th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron (OMRS).

Generally this small shop is known mostly by people preparing to deploy, during times such as where Health Protection Conditions are elevated, this small shop has an increased responsibility.

Public health does everything for Recce Town that the Health Department does for the civilian world, said Capt. Jenell Brown, 9 OMRS Public Health flight commander.

“We are the food inspectors, we are the people that make sure that kids at the child development center have clean conditions to play in while their parents are hard at work, we are the people that are doing the disease surveillance behind the scenes,” said Brown.

In response to COVID-19, Public Health is doing several things, said Brown. A large part of their mission is taking the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and seeing how it can fit with the clinic’s capabilities.

“A lot of the time it's figuring it out as we go because what another base might be doing might not work here,” said Brown. “Our job is to tailor guidance and make it what we need here in order to keep the mission going.”

Public Health’s advice is quite simple.

“Prevention and education, getting back to the basics goes a long way,” said Brown. “Washing your hands with soap and water does a lot in the way of keeping yourself and others healthy.”

If you've been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or believe you may have it, please call public health at (530) 634-4945 rather than coming into the clinic.